Do you start your day meticulously planning for activities you want to undertake but end up not finding enough time to incorporate them? Does your schedule seem to overflow, preventing you from giving your full attention to the tasks at hand?
As a coach, you know the importance of time management for healthy living, happiness, and professional accomplishments.
It can become difficult to manage everything that you need to do and want to do. It may seem like your schedule may not have enough space to fit everything from an early morning workout to managing children and handling clients.
This makes you think, “If only I had a few extra hours in a day.”
Does this mean you cannot do it within 24 hours?
You absolutely can! All you need is to find EFFECTIVE ways of managing time.
In the words of Golda Meir, “I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.”
As a coach, if you want to have excellent outcomes for your client, you must bring your top game to the table. And for this, you must be armed with super tools to succeed, one of them being productive time management tips.
And if you are someone who is always on the lookout for the best time management tips, here are 10 that will fulfill your ambition to excel and bring the best to your coaching clients.
Tip #1: Winners start in the morning
Successful coaches know the benefits of an early morning start to the day. Waking up early puts you in a different league of people who complete their daily tasks quicker than others.
When you get up early, your mental agility improves. It puts your mind on high alert and makes you more responsive to any situation enabling you to complete your tasks efficiently and on time.
You can also use this extra time to meditate and exercise. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins that enhance your mood and improve your overall feeling of well-being. Coaches who miss out on early mornings get tied up in work and find it difficult to catch up on these essential activities for a healthy mind and body.
Do you have the intent but lack the motivation to get up early? Join a 5 AM club. Or if you want it late, the 6 AM club. This helps you to stay accountable and keep your commitment to others.
So, get up, have a cup of hot tea or coffee to fire your senses, and make your first move to conquer the day!
Tip #2: Break projects into manageable tasks
Congratulations, you have completed the first step to success! Starting your day early already makes you a top contender to be a winner. You have enough time to finish work early and return home to take your kid on the new ride in town.
But before you do, you need to bring clarity to your work. You can do this by creating a mental map and breaking down each project into smaller ones.
Keep negativity at bay, and don’t get overwhelmed when a huge project casts its dark shadow on you. Remember, there's always light behind a shadow.
Here are three ideas to help coaches manage time effectively.
- Start by making notes on a sheet of paper. When you do this each goal becomes crystal clear and attainable. Now do this – if a project involves months of work, create monthly goals. If a project involves weeks of work, create weekly goals. Breaking a project into tiny tasks makes them extra manageable and achievable. It's the same as taking small bites of a huge pizza to savor the delicious taste and make it fun to eat.
- Manage time by allocating tasks to others that don’t require your attention, so that you can get more time to complete the tasks at hand.
- Don't forget to leave enough time for a final review to ensure the results are aligned with the initial goals set.
Remember, time moves at its own pace. Making noise doesn’t slow down time. So, make the best use of time in your workspace by working silently behind the scenes and producing measurable results.
Tip #3: Avoid Multitasking
Multitasking is meant for machines and computer operating systems that can do multiple jobs at the same time without error. When it comes to humans, we are poor candidates for it.
So, let’s do what we are good at - doing one task at a time.
Have you tried writing an email and answering the phone at the same time? It can seem easy, but in reality, this is not the case. Your brain goes into conflict mode as it tries to decide which one to do best and ends up doing none properly!
Trying to multitask results in sloppy work and grumpy faces. So, what do you do? How do you make a quick exit from the office to catch that Netflix show you’re binging on?
Let’s find out.
- Stops switching your attention between many tasks. Instead, focus on the one which you started.
- Don’t try to impress others by taking up more than you can handle.
- Divide your day into small chunks of time, each for a specific task.
It is also important to indulge in daydreaming once in a while. Let your mind float out of the window into the clouds. This defogs your brain and tops up its ability to think clearly and focus. It lets you demystify what you’ve been doing for the last few hours. And come up with new ideas, you never existed!
Tip #4: Batch process your tasks
Imagine this scenario – you are planning the year's budget when other tasks that require your attention rush in. They can be an employee's welfare fund, a board meeting, or a presentation for a new client.
What is your first reaction? As the business head, you start working on them instantly.
The result? None of the tasks gets done completely, resulting in chaos in your mind and workspace.
What happened? You did what most of us often do, trying to reach multiple objectives at the same time. Your attention got divided amongst many when it should have been devoted to one only.
So, what can you do instead?
To achieve what you started, you need to do Task Batching. It's a process that groups tasks of a similar nature and makes correct use of time. Look for tasks that don’t make you rethink the entire process. It's already there in your mind, neatly chalked out. You just need to press the green button and get started. No more planning, renewing the thought processes, or researching again.
The brain works best when it has complete focus on a single task.
Switching back and forth makes it less productive and slow in achieving its goal. When you’re working on multiple tasks that require the same process, it gets the work gets done quickly.
Tip #5: An investment in knowledge always pays the best
Life offers many ways to tackle time management and live a thriving life. But did you know the power of knowledge is one of them?
High-performing coaches look forward to knowledge to overcome obstacles in life and have more control over what they do.
Learning gives you the knowledge to experiment with new things and find quick solutions which benefit you in the long term. Learn anything - a new skill, a new sport, or even how to talk to an audience. You will find new dimensions opening for you that were earlier missing. And these will generate vibes to keep your mind on high alert and generate quick responses when the situation demands it.
This time management tips lets you use time in the best possible way.
Do you find learning daunting? Don’t give up. In the words of Zig Ziglar, “If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.”
Think about this - kids have a tough time learning the alphabet for the first time. If you had quit learning the alphabet when you were a kid, would you have been able to read this article now?
When you learn new things, you work towards self-improvement and can continue lifelong. Your knowledge has the power to help your clients, but first, it needs to be molded to fit the purpose. Knowledge gives you the power to ask the right questions, find different solutions, and manage work efficiently.
Take your time to learn. What’s important is to understand what you are learning, why you are learning, and why it will benefit you.
Tip #6: Try AI for effective time management
How often have you overshot the time you blocked for a task? Or run late for meetings because you lost track of time?
Think for a moment about this scenario - You are in the office delivering a presentation to an upscale client. By the time you finish, you realize you are late for the board meeting, and missed a call with the taxman.
It is natural to forget the ticking of the clock when you are deeply engaged with a client to give them the best. But there are other priorities that require your attention, too, and since there is no stopping in your journey, you need to find ways to be more creative with what you do.
Welcome to the 21st century! Introducing the new digital kid on the block – Artificial Intelligence.
We have trekked far in our journey to find gems that shape time management. And tried diverse tools. Can artificial intelligence be far behind? Can we ignore its influence in our lives? It’s everywhere. Starting with this document which is a Google Doc to your browser where you’ll read this. AI has made our lives better for the most.
How about using its power to manage time and fulfill our needs?
AI can add a new dimension to your skills in time management. A dimension that brings about a change in how time works for you. Time becomes your partner in progress and your best bet in overcoming obstacles. Not only does it keep track of the time being invested, but it also makes managing your and your worker's productivity a breeze.
So, take a leap toward AI!
No more glances at the clock are needed to check if you are on track. Your digital guardian is working for you 24x7 to ensure you remain creative and deliver the best for your client and your business.
Tip #7: Isolate your mind and workspace
In our lifetime, everything needs to be done within a certain period. There is no extra hour, a penalty shoot, and certainly no second chances. Left with no other option, we must make the best use of whatever time we have.
Your coaching business follows a similar pattern. You know you cannot take a second chance on your career or the future of your clients. You get only one chance to make a resounding impact.
In doing so, you get interrupted by elements that steal your attention. This results in lost focus, inability to make decisions, and confusion that wreaks havoc with your time management.
So, what can you do to prevent these setbacks?
Follow simple rules.
1. Start with the isolation of your workspace.
An isolated workspace offers you peace, ease of work, and privacy. If you keep your office door open, chances are you will be bombarded by unwanted visitors.
This destroys the much-needed focus and calm required to do your work productively.
When you permit only the visitors who have a prior appointment, you avoid the appeal of indulging in things that are not a priority or not work-related.
2. Don’t forget about your physical comfort.
If you’ve been having back pain working long hours from your couch which is impacting your productivity, it's time to instill some discipline.
Work from where it's meant to be – from your workspace table and chair. They are designed to make working hours a pleasant experience. You will be surprised by the efficiency it brings to your work-time management. The couch may seem tempting, but it's seldom of any good except when watching television.
Tip #8: What makes it urgent or important?
As a coach, you have a demanding life and often do different tasks at the same time. You meet client demands, attend meetings, plan budgets, and do mentoring… until you realize… you are in a mess! And that time was not your best friend.
To be a fast mover, you push yourself to complete tasks without realizing what requires your immediate attention.
“Do I do it now or later?” This leads to confusion in your mind, blunders, and not to mention sleepless nights.
But hey! This is normal. In order to stay ahead in the race, we often fail to draw the fine line between what is urgent and what is important. And it has a major impact on the success of your personal and professional life.
The good news is that there are ways to mend it.
An excellent way is the Eisenhower Matrix. It’s a set of techniques that lays down the action path to tackle tricky situations - situations where everything seeks your immediate attention.
This is how it works. It marks each task into four categories.
Urgent and Important
Tasks marked as “Urgent and Important”, require your immediate attention. These are things like paying taxes, fixing a leaking roof, updating your computer anti-virus software, or a medical emergency.
Not Urgent but Important
Tasks marked as “Important but Not Urgent”, can be scheduled for later. For instance, having the house painted, doing the budget, starting a new hobby, or taking your family on a vacation are things that can be planned.
Urgent and Not Important
Tasks marked “Urgent and Not Important” are not for you but for someone else. Here fit items like attending the phone call, hiring a new gardener, recruiting new staff, and dropping your kid at school.
Not Urgent and Not Important
“Not Important, not Urgent” are tasks that are neither important nor urgent. Watching TV, playing video games, gambling, or aimless net browsing are examples of this.
Once you have a clear idea of the urgency and importance, it is a cakewalk to complete your priorities and make time for the rest.
Tip #9: Take a break
`You are working 18 hours a day and are on your way to being the Coach of the Year.
You are doing everything to build an image of a successful coach… yet feel that something seems missing. You feel restless, irritated, and have sleepless nights.
“What’s wrong with me?” – you wonder.
The answer is simple – you are not taking a break!
There is no denying that stress and the workplace are related. What you need is to find gaps in your schedule and take breaks. By doing so, you are taking corrective steps to escape from the grind and come back relaxed and rejuvenated.
While initially, it may seem unreasonable, science says taking a break is good for your workflow. Short breaks may not be as effective as a vacation but result in a lifelong reward of a happy mind and a balanced life.
Don’t feel guilty about taking breaks. You may feel “I’m doing nothing productive” during this phase. But in fact, it might be one of the best decisions of your life.
Is it taking longer to find the right strategy? Grab a cup of coffee, take your dog for a walk, water the plants, or chat with your friends. When your mind is relaxed, it is easier to chalk out the right path.
Another great way is to take a short nap. A 10-20 minute nap helps to improve your mood and reduce stress, making it easier to find solutions.
Next time someone catches you napping, say, “With great power… comes a great need to take a nap. Wake me up later.”
Tip #10: Loving starts with the self
#10 is one of the most undervalued yet important time management tips you want to be mindful of.
As a coach, it's natural for people to seek your advice for a meaningful life. You want your calendar booked all year round with appointments because being booked means extra business and higher cash flow. And you are on your way to becoming a million-dollar coach. Congratulations!
But do you ever pause and take care of the person who does it for you?
It's not your loved ones, your friends, your colleagues, or even your mentor. In our rush for materialistic things in life, we often tend to ignore the one who is doing it all. It's you!
Think of it – it’s your inner self that motivates you, propels you to act on new things, makes you laugh like a child, and warns you when situations become delicate. And it needs love and care too.
When you initiate self-care, it brings about mental and physical well-being. It makes you feel calm and uplifts you so that you can handle situations better.
Your inner self has cravings too. It could be a wish to learn a new sport, take up a new skill, learn to skydive, or seek spiritual upliftment through meditation.
Let go of your inhibitions and do what makes you happy. If you want to fit into your childhood jeans, join a gym. Or call a friend you met after many years.
Remember, it's a deal you are making with your true self. In return, you get increased levels of self-confidence, the ability to maintain a work-life balance, and better skills in time management.
Time is a force that moves in one direction and can neither be stopped nor altered. You can’t make up for lost time, so use it wisely to shape your future. Don’t expect this universal force to stand still and do your bidding. Instead, make it your best friend in the journey called life.
You can’t control time as it is only an illusion. You just need to fit yourself in the spaces provided by it and set your goals. In doing so, there may be momentary lapses, but don’t worry. It is part of the journey of growing up as a coach. A journey that’s aligned with the cosmic force known as time.
Think deeply, and you’ll realize you are nothing without time. You exist because time does. Why not glorify your existence by applying the tools and techniques that we shared with you here? Tools that open creative doorways and shine a light on the path for a happier and healthier tomorrow.